It was not a frequent occurrence, that Gita Chandra should be asked to organise a hen party. When Valerie - currently Gita’s number 1 pal (Gita was very anxious about the quantity of Facebook messages she’d sent to her last night – she was worried 26 wouldn’t quite get the message through) – had broached the subject of her wedding, to long term girlfriend Petra, Gita had expected, as per usual, for it to be about the flowers.
Surprisingly, she was wrong.
Gita was (and she was rather proud of herself), in charge of the hen party.
It was a brand new, and rather alien, experience, but one that filled her with a great satisfaction, and delight, after she was asked to organise such an event. She wondered why it had taken so long. Probably because they all saw her as the brains behind the flowers.
“Haresh! Haresh! Haresh!”
Haresh looked up from his newspaper. “Yes, dear?”
“I’m going to organise a hen party! I know, it’s awfully exciting, and I’m sorry you won’t be able to come, but never mind-”
“Well. I’m delighted for you,” he glanced back over the property pages.
“And so you should be, my darling. It’s not every day that I’m offered such a prestigious role. I must handle it with care, and dignity.”
“Yes, darling. Yes, you should.”
“I mean, if I were to make a mess of this! Goodness, it’s not worth thinking about, let’s be honest! This is the biggest day of her life –”
“I think that’ll be her actual wedding…”
“Well, Haresh, don’t be so narky. This is the prelude to that great day. Now shush, tell me, what do people do at hen parties?”
“Strippers,” Haresh murmured, as he glanced over a rather interesting article about the impacts of the government’s cuts and how it could impact on the ring-fenced budget for school libraries in the Ealing area.
“Ooh, fantastic idea! Right, see you later!”
Sarah Jane did look as if she were in a bit of a rush, but it didn’t matter, she wasn’t planning on taking up much of her time.
All she needed to know about was the name of the group those soldiers belonged to. The name had just slipped her mind – but she’d seen them around at Sarah’s before, and just needed to find out who they were.
“Gita, sorry, I’m in a bit of a hurry,” Sarah Jane said, as she climbed into her car.
“Just quickly,” Gita started, as Sarah Jane shut the door, and wound down the window. “Those soldiers you have round here sometimes – who are they?”
That was it!
“Ah, that’s right! Thank you!”
Surprisingly, these UNIT people didn’t have an obvious phone number or email address, which was unusual. Gita thought back to her days at business college. Rule 1. Make your contract details clear.
Eventually, however, after trawling through some forums on the internet, she’d come across a phone number – it could be wrong, but it was worth a try.
“This is the UNIT major threat response number. What is your situation?”
“Hen party. 25 ladies, single – well, not really – but still ready to mingle.”
Gita wasn’t quite sure where that’d come from – perhaps it was because the chap on the phone had an incredibly silky, smooth voice.
“Who’s calling? What’s your situation? Where are you?”
“Ooh, er, um, sorry – I’m not used to a forward man. My husband’s a little… how shall I say it?”
She mouthed the word ‘insipid’ down the phone, as if she expected the man to understand what she was saying.
“Are you hurt?”
“Roleplay from the off – yes. You’ll do just nicely.”
Gita loved a bit of roleplay. Haresh was never really into it. Said teachers were banned from caning years ago.
“We’re sending a response team over to you now.”
“No, no! My darling, it’s not until –”
The phone hung up.
Oh. Well. Never mind. They didn’t even get her address. She’d have to try again later.
Gita, since her conversation with the mysterious UNIT man on the telephone, had retreated upstairs, to begin work on the planning of the evening.
This hen night was going to be planned with military precision, and nothing was going to go wrong.
Haresh was downstairs, cooking the dinner. Chili Con Carne. He did a fantastic chili.
“Gita!” he called.
“Yes, my darling?” she shouted down the stairs.
“Come and look at this…”
Gita, who wasn’t particularly fond of bowing to her husband’s beck and call, decided it was best not to argue, and made her way downstairs, to see whatever it was he was going on about. He was stood by the living room window, looking at the street outside.
“What is it, Haresh? I do have things to do, you know!” she said, as she pottered over to the window. “Hen parties don’t plan themselves!”
“Hmm. I think they might.”
Parked up along the road outside of their house, were several black cars.
“Who are they?” Gita asked.
“I could ask you the same.”
Then, within the blink of an eye, everything started happening.
A whole squadron of soldiers, dressed in black leathers and body armour, and each wielding semi-automatics, in tight military formation, moved with an effective fluidness, into the front garden, training their crosshairs on the front of the house. Several range-rovers skidded to a halt at the front of the house, burning the tarmac with jet black skid marks.
Then, an almighty truck turned around the corner and onto the road – the first thing Gita thought was that the driver must’ve been highly talented. Her flower suppliers couldn’t drive their trucks around to her shop with such ease.
Soldiers spilled out of the truck, like ants spilling from an ant’s nest, all working in unison, getting to action stations.
Then, the door was kicked in, and the shouts of commands rung throughout the house, as soldiers filled every room – including the living room.
“PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!”
There were at least six of them, all pointing their machine guns at Gita and Haresh.
Haresh did as he was told, and raised his hands.
Eventually, the shouts stopped, and silence spread throughout the house, as all the soldiers pointed their guns at the two of them, and Haresh stood, his hands up.
Then Gita began to applaud.
“Oh, bravo! Bravo! I didn’t expect you to be so efficient! Valerie is going to love this!”
“PUT YOUR HANDS UP!”
“Look!” Gita laughed, walking over to one of the soldiers, who quickly loaded his weapon. “He’s even got a squeaky truncheon!”
She wrapped her fingers around the black baton strapped to his belt.
“Ooh. Not even squeaky.”
“STEP BACK, NOW!”
“Yes, sir!” she stepped back to where her husband was, and raised her hands.
“Gita,” Haresh began.
“What’s going on?” Haresh murmured, through gritted teeth.
“They’re strippers, Haresh.”
“They’re not strippers, Gita.”
“Look, they’ve even got handcuffs! Ultra-realistic – not even fluffy.”
Gita winked at him. “You can cuff me anytime, officer-”
Then the world went black.
Gita and Haresh walked out of A&E. Thankfully, the soldier had only tasered her. After arriving at hospital, he said he didn’t think she was that dangerous. Gita replied saying that she was a dark horse.
“I’ll call a taxi,” Haresh said, taking out his mobile. “And, er – when you plan the rest of the Hen party – maybe stay away from strippers.”
“Oh, don’t worry, my darling. I’ve already told Valerie, she’ll have to find someone else to organise her Hen party.”
“Probably for the best.”
As they walked along, something occurred to Gita.
“I did always think it odd that Sarah should spend so much of her time in the company of strippers."